WITH less than three years of competing as a barrel racer under her belt, Grandchester cowgirl Jodi Wilson will represent Australia at the upcoming All American Youth Barrel race in the United States.
Jodi, 19, rode in six rounds of the Speed2Success qualifiers on her quarter horse Blondie, finishing in top spot for division four and securing her place on the Australian team.
It's the first time she's made the team, and it will be her first time overseas.
But to win, she's going to have to compete on a borrowed horse when she competes at Jackson Mississippi.
"I was really excited when I found out, it felt like I finally achieved something," she said.
"(But) I can't take Blondie … I'll be riding a billeted horse."
Jodie will practise on numerous horses leading up to the All American Youth Barrel Race in June.
"I just want to do the best I can, stay on the horse and don't knock down any drums," Jodi said.
She began barrel racing three years ago, after she was inspired by fellow pony club riders to start the sport. Jodi recalled her first race in Caboolture being a disaster.
"My first barrel race was the worst, I was on an ignorant horse that wouldn't go around the barrels," she said.
She went on to try numerous horses and improve her skills before landing her partnership with Blondie, the eight-year-old mare.
"I was the runner up last year for the National Barrel Horse Association, so it was good to qualify this year," Jodi said.
In Australia, Jodi can face up to 100 competitors each time she heads into the ring.
But in the United States, she could face up to 800 riders.
Until then, Jodi will spend as much time in the saddle as she can for her big debut.
"I just want to keep improving my times, keep getting better and keep improving myself and my horse," she said.
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